A man who works for Donald Trump needs to weigh his audacity in tons, because the man would need every ounce of it to defend the indefensible.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, another of Trump’s feckless Cabinet members, loaded audacity into dump trucks when he called on the Chinese to turn on President Xi Jinping and change the direction of the Communist regime.

Xi’s pot might be black, but so, too, is Trump and Pompeo’s kettle. Neither Xi nor Trump stands on solid ground when it comes to enlightened governance, which makes Pompeo’s advice to the Chinese as empty as Trump’s boast about how much he has done for Blacks.

No reason for any American to side with an authoritarian regime like Xi’s, because what China is doing to the people in Hong Kong rules out any hope that democratic principles will find their way into policies.  

As Pompeo said in a Wall Street Journal article, Xi is “a true believer in a bankrupt, totalitarian ideology.”  Pompeo called for America to rouse the Chinese into taking on the Communists who lead them.

Under ordinary circumstances, Pompeo might be applauded for his criticism of Xi’s leadership, but he comes across as disingenuous when he does. Even worse, no one in the Trump administration should hearten meddling into Chinese affairs when America has problems aplenty on its own soil.

All around Pompeo and Trump is an America in disarray. It is fighting a pandemic on one front; employment on another; and racism, sexism and criminal injustice on three more fronts.

Streets here are ablaze with anger, signaling to Trump that he, too, needs to try draconian measures to douse it. Trump is using the same playbook Xi and the Communists are relying on to silence political discord in Hong Kong.

Xi can do that China. Trump, however, cannot do that in America, although his actions make it seem as if he can. He cannot rule, or so the U.S. Constitution says, with an iron fist like Xi.

But when a U.S. politician discards democratic principles, he puts himself in league with unsavory characters, and he also risks toppling the republic. Trump seems unmoved by that prospect.

His actions, which run counter to the rule of law, look no better than what Xi is doing, and they have shaken people’s confidence in Trump’s leadership and in the direction he’s guiding the country.

In its history, the U.S. has never elected a president who showed as much distain for the Constitution as Trump, whose dictatorial leadership is obliterating the noble concept of a democracy.

Yet he and the men who speak on his behalf – Pompeo in this case – believe they can counsel another country on the course it should take. They cannot.

Americans must remember the folly of that from Vietnam, a country that had no interest in being a U.S. flunky. The country wanted to stand on its own legs, not ours.

China does as well. That fact explains its tardiness in warming to America and its meddlesome ways, which are turning longtime allies into lukewarm friends.

Trump and Pompeo might not like the way Xi has led China, but what he does ought not be their concern. With their crisis, they need to keep their eyes fixed to the hardships on U.S. soil.